The World in Which We Occur: States of Reserve
STATES OF RESERVE – THE LEGALITY OF INVISIBLE REGIMES
Part of TWWWO Voice Archive
Recorded on Thursday 10 September 2015, 6:30–8 pm
SPEAKERS: Cormac Cullinan, Joana Rafael, Paulo Tavares
This session investigates the impact of legal frameworks developed around the phenomena of territorial and resource fetishism, speculating on the interplay between physical and legal systems and their impact over the debate of property and life. Inquiring into the influence of climatology and earth sciences on international affairs and the development of transparent policies, we aim to address new models of agency resulting from the dispute of biological domination.
The World in Which We Occur is an event series co-led by Margarida Mendes and Jennifer Teets, taking place live over the telephone, and formulated around questions addressed by speakers across the world. Embarking on modern day issues rooted in the history of materiality and flux as well as pertinent politically enmeshed scientific affairs shaping our world today, the series’ premise is one of interrogation and epistemic search. To date, The World in Which We Occur has hosted sessions on the core debates of the Anthropocene, pharmakons (the body and the earth as a remedy and a poison), molecular colonialism in the reign of microorganisms, grief and climate change, and states of reserve and the legality of invisible regimes. It is currently exploring resource fetishism as its primary axis for the Lisbon presentation where it will bring together voices on water politics and earth metabolisms, from the perspective of art, science, law, the humanities, and activism.
Loosely inspired by, and set in the legacy of hybrids growing out of artist James Lee Byars’ 1969 "World Question Centre," The World in Which We Occur underlines the necessity for inquiry over an assertiveness of responses. “Could you offer us a question that you feel is pertinent in regards to your own evolution of knowledge?” asks Byars at the end of the line. The World in Which We Occur unveils incentives or queries as to generate further questions to build upon. It also aims to open up other areas of knowledge and speculation stemming from the core exercise of explicating one’s relationship within the current state of nature, in an era of erratic climatic behaviors. As a curation of voices, each session departs from an assisted dialing room set in an auditorium and is shared with an audience of listeners. The sessions are outsourced in the form of a growing archive.
The speakers recorded in previous sessions include Nabil Ahmed, Carolina Caycedo, Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Fran Gallardo, Lori Gruen, Clive Hamilton, Stefan Helmreich, Pedro Neves Marques, Barbara Orland, Rory Rowan, Jenna Sutela, Etienne Turpin, Mi You, Paul N. Edwards, Peter Fend, Anna Tsing, Kai Bosworth, Stuart McLean.
CORMAC CULLINAN is a South African environmental lawyer, author and activist. His book Wild Law: a manifesto for Earth justice (first published in 2002) has helped inspire a global rights of nature movement. He led the drafting of the 2010 Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth; is an executive committee member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and a judge on the International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature. Cullinan has addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations and many international conferences on how to redesign human governance systems to be be compatible with the laws of nature.
JOANA RAFAEL is an architect and theorist. She holds a MA from the CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona), a MRes in Research Architecture and a PhD in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work spans the disciplinary boundaries of architectural practice and theory, the Arts, scientific and technological studies, ecological thought and political philosophy. Rafael’s current research investigates crises of the Earth and Architecture as manifested in acts of reservation and bounded spaces. She is the recipient of a research grant of the FCT (Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia), and has published in diverse architecture and design magazines including Actar, San Rocco and EROS. Sh has lectured at Central Saint Martins, London and the University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury. Currently, she is the editor of Public Domain magazine, and a consultant for an Architecture & Research office and Design gallery, in Milan. She is also currently developing her PhD project for publication. This book will examine how reserve realities are enacted through a hybrid repertoire of actions, speculative engineering and system design, that simulate and assimilate patterns of crisis to sustain, rather than negate, the threat of The End.
PAULO TAVARES (Quito/London) is architect and urbanist, graduated in Brazil and teaches at Goldsmiths, where he is also completing a PhD. His work is chiefly concerned with spatial politics, ecology and media. Recent projects deal with the relations between environmental violence and law in the case of the internal armed conflict in Guatemala and the colonization of the Amazon during the military dictatorship in Brazil. He also teaches in the Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Artes at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador.
JENNIFER TEETS is a curator, writer, researcher, and occasional performer based in Paris. Her research and writing combines inquiry, sciences studies, philosophy, and ficto-critique, and performs as an interrogative springboard for her curatorial practice. She is currently exhibiting Elusive Earths III at Parallel, Oaxaca, Mexico until June 2016.
MARGARIDA MENDES is a curator, writer and activist based in Lisbon/Madrid, where she currently runs the educational platform Escuelita at Centro de Arte dos de Mayo. From 2009-16 she directed the project space The Barber Shop in Lisbon, where she hosted a programme of seminars and residencies dedicated to artistic and philosophical research. She was part of the curatorial team of the 11th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea.
Prototype Session: The Anthropocene
Session 1: The Pharmakon
Session 3: Grief and Climate Change
Session 5: Water Politics
Session 6: Earth Metabolisms
Session 7: The Underground
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